Okie dokie, y'all. I don't know if this is "authentic" andouille or kielbasa, but they're all bred from recipes that people have referenced and found to be close enough to the real thing to like. It came out GREAT from a "Hmm. That's pretty damn good sausage" perspective, IMHO, with only a small tweak to satisfy a few of the taste testers. Here's the followup to the setup and pix post from earlier todaty. Bonus! Includes how to use a two temp ("Off" and "On") Brinkman to do this thing!
"Game Winner" 5# stuffer in the back there. Looks like it might have come out of a different door than a LEM, but at the same factory. I like it. All steel gears, pushes meat mush just fine. Bought at Academy as a gift from my spouse.
The infamous Brinkman. Hoping to bring some respect to this $70 wonder. It has two temperature settings - "Off" and "On," but we worked with them to do this. Yes, those are picture hangers I've clamped to the rods to hang the sausage off of, since there was too much to just do on the two racks.
First we coiled some Kielbasa. I've got to work on my stuffing consistency, but for those just starting out (I've never seen this on any site) A little bubble of air in front of the horn REALLY HELPS get them shucked up on that thing before you start stuffing. Get rid of the bubble before you tie off the starting end. If you don't do that, you're fighting a vacuum to get the casings on the horn. Hold the end up and "poof" a little air in the end before you start. It's like a little miracle, I swear.
Followed by the andouille. 3 pound batch is obviously smaller.
Made the links. Around 10" for kielbasa, 8" for andouille. Ignore the cr@p in the background, please...
Hung it all from the picture hooks on the grid, though some went on top. I really need to figure out a better way to to this. It worked, technically. Thanks to my son for holding the rack up for the picture.
At 72 degrees ambient, this is a Brinkman holding at 145 for drying the casings. Stuff on top, stuff hanging. Probe for thermometer is hanging near the center of the cylinder. Pecan smoke started after an hour.
Meanwhile, frying up a test patty of the andouille. Though too late, since it's all been stuffed. And is in the smoker. Thought you might wanna see it anyway. Tasted good. Very porky.
After an hour of smoke, upped the temp. This is a Brinkman at 165 degrees if you're at 72 ambient. 2x2 props on a slightly (20%?) offset lid, door fully open. You can see the heating element and a link hanging down in there.
Brinkman at 180 - Lid still on props, but now centered and not offset. Door halfway closed. 72 degrees ambient. More smoke going. FYI, If you want 170, open the door all the way.
Had to spy on them with a flashlight as the temp was getting close. 11:00 = Andouille, 2:00= Some WIP Jalapeno cheddar that we thought could use some smoke, 6:00=Kielbasa.
Overshot the temp by a few degrees (hit 162 in a few links). Pulled 'em all and gave 'em a ice water bath for 20 minutes or so.
Blotted dry. Left to right, 3 links of Jalapeno Cheddar (WIP), a slew of kielbasa, bunch of andouille. Whee!
Money shot - (L-R) Kielbasa, Jalapeno Cheddar, Andouille. Texture and grind were spot on, IMO.
Ate a bit, then vac sealed the rest and now in the freezer.
Andouille - Great taste, good grind. Overall favorite among all tasters. Heat needs adjusting. It's a great sausage, but is it truly andouille? I dunno, but it's a keeper either way. Needs more heat, and it needs to come on sooner. It's got a good taste, but heat needs to hit faster/harder is the overall opinion. Otherwise a winner in everyone's book. Think I'll bump the cayenne up a bit next time. And there WILL be a next time, and making more than a measly 3 pounds. A lot is gone already... :-/
Kielbasa - This is one of the few sausages that I wouldn't mind eating as-is without frying first. It's a darn fine sausage. Good texture. not overly garlic-y (which was a concern after smelling that thing... Whew!) Nice bite and casing "pop." Good contender as a griller or ingredient in other stuff (as is the andouille).
Jalapeno Cheddar - It still needs work. Good flavor, not ready for prime time yet
Need to figure out a better way to hang the sausage in the Brinkman.
That's it, y'all. Fully successful in my book.